Today’s post is about giving you an option to eat luxuriously or a little lighter. On the side of luxury, Starbucks in Targets are currently offering a free La Boulange pastry with any handcrafted beverage purchase from now through July 2 (participating stores only). I’ve had their pain au chocolat (a croissant with chocolate in the middle) before, and it was delicious!!
Guess what else is delicious and luxurious: macaroni and cheese! This one in particular has bacon, 3 types of cheese, and a crumb topping. I actually felt that the bacon was a little unnecessary. (Sacrilege, I know.) Though I love bacon, I couldn’t really taste it through the cheeses, so I’d rather save my bacon for something like a BLT. Other than that, this was such a tasty dish. The sauce had a great cheesy flavor with a bit of kick, and the crumb topping gave it a nice crunch. My husband was particularly taken with this one and insists that we have it again before too long goes by.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese (Unknown origin)
6 tbsp. butter
3 slices diced bacon
1 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (Use less if you don’t like spicy food.)
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 c. milk
1 c. grated Parmesan
4 oz. cream cheese (softened)
3 c. shredded cheddar
3/4 c. panko
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1 lb. penne
1. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook til crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
2. Remove all but 3 tbsp. of the bacon grease from the pan. Add the onion and saute til tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and garlic and stir for 1 minute.
3. Stir in 2 tbsp. butter. Once melted, add in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer, stirring frequently, til thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the Parmesan, cream cheese, and 2 1/4 c. cheddar. Once they’re melted in, a the bacon and season with salt and pepper.
5. In a separate large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp. butter. Add the panko and stir til light golden brown (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 13×9 baking dish. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta til al dente; drain well.
7. Once the pasta’s cooked, toss it with the sauce and transfer to the baking dish. Top with the panko mix and 3/4 c. cheddar. Bake 30 minutes or til golden brown; let stand 5 minutes for serving.
The last recipe for tonight is from the lighter side of dinner (but it’s not broccoli salad again). It’s the very flavorful shrimp I hinted at a couple of weeks ago. This shrimp is full of a great flavor, and it cooks up in a flash. Though the recipe calls for the shrimp to be grilled, I just sauteed mine in a regular nonstick frying pan til it was pink and cooked through.
Cilantro-Lemon Shrimp (from Food Network)
1 c. cilantro
1 c. parsley
6 cloves garlic
Zest of 3 lemons
Juice of 3 lemons
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. black pepper
1 c. olive oil
2 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp
1. Turn on the grill. Put all the ingredients except the oil and shrimp into the food processor. Process till smooth. With the machine running, drizzle the oil through the feed tube, til it’s completely incorporated.
2. Place the shrimp in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it. Squeeze out the air, seal, and let marinate for 1 hour. Grill til cooked through.
Even though I love both of these recipes, what I’m craving right now is something light, cold, and refreshing. I think I’m going to go grab a popsicle from the freezer and chill on the couch with my hubby. Have a cool and relaxing evening!